Age UK TV ad 2016
In the run up to Christmas 2016, Age UK released the TV advert below which sees acclaimed actor James Bolam telling the real-life story of Roy, an older man who became lonely after losing his wife of more than 40 years.
The ad raised awareness of loneliness in older people, highlighting the fact that 1.2 million older in the UK are chronically lonely.
Roy, aged 83, said: "Loneliness is something I have experienced first-hand and it goes without saying how upsetting it can be.
"My beautiful wife passed away one year ago and not a day goes by when I don’t miss her dearly.
"It takes some getting used to, going from spending every single day for the past 55 years with the woman I love, to facing each day without her."
The TV ad was to raise awareness of loneliness in older people (1.2 million older people are chronically lonely) and to promote our Call in Time telephone befriending service.
We match older people with like-minded volunteers for weekly companionship or regular ‘good day’ calls.
"Joining Age UK’s befriending service has been a great help," said Roy. "My local Age UK helped to set this up and I will be forever grateful... I’m feeling much more confident and positive now"
To an older person who hasn’t spoken to anyone in weeks, it really can make all the difference.
Watch Janet's story: short film featuring Miriam Margolyes
In a second ad, star of film and TV Miriam Margolyes voices the story of Janet, an older woman who hates Christmas because 'nothing ever happens'.
"A lot of people assume that older people are surrounded by friends and family, especially at this time of year," says Janet. "Sadly, that’s not the case for all of us."
"Joining Age UK’s Call in Time service has without doubt helped me through some very difficult days. My befriender calls me every week and selflessly listens to me."
Janet's story featuring Miriam Margolyes
Watch the full length version of Roy's story
Full length of Roy's story
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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.